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Pioneer Electric COOPERATIVE


Food Issue

Historic restaurants Made in Alabama Sweet treats


Terry Moseley CO-OP EDITOR

Casey Rogers ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014.



340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail:

VOL. 68 NO. 8 AUGUST 2015

6 Recipe Exchange Pioneer Electric exchanges favorite award-winning recipes and baking tips with Rebecca Gordon.

12 Tasting history

When an eatery brings people back year after year, generation after generation, you know it’s doing something right. We invite you to plan a visit to one of the historic restaurants we’ve featured and take a taste of our state’s rich food heritage.

40 From the sea to the plate

Storms, pollution, soaring fuel prices – shrimpers must contend with these factors and many more to bring succulent crustaceans to market. But most would rather do nothing else.

Some delicious Alabama-made products grace our cover this month, clockwise from top left: Alabama blueberries, sheep cheese from Dayspring Dairy, Wickles pickled okra and relish, Oakview Farms grits, Conecuh sausage, Gulf shrimp, G Momma’s cookies, Priester’s pecans, and peaches. Thanks to Flannel & Floral in Brewton for our custom-made Alabama maple cutting board, and to Chef Randal Gresham at Central restaurant in Montgomery for his help in putting this shot together. PHOTO: Tastebuds Photography


National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181


USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311


9 41 48 54

Spotlight Outdoors Fish & Game Forecast Cook of the Month Snapshots

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015 3

Manager’s Comments

Contact Information: Business: 1-800-239-3092

A Cooperative Day Terry Moseley

Executive Vice President and General Manager

(Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

Toll Free Outage “Hotline” 1-800-533-0323 (24 hours a day)

Board of Trustees Tommy Thompson • President John Henry • Vice President Melvia Carter • Secretary Carey Thompson • Glenn Branum Tom Duncan • Dave Lyon Melvin Dale • Linda Arnold

Web site:

Payment Options: By Mail: Pioneer Electric Cooperative P.O. Box 370 Greenville, AL 36037 Bank Draft: Contact a customer service representative for details Credit Card: By phone or in person Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express Night Depository: Available at each office location Online: In Person: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Greenville: 300 Herbert Street Selma: 4075 Ala. Highway 41 Authorized Payment Center: First Citizens Bank 40 Lafayette St. Hayneville

4 AUGUST 2015

So how did you spend your day? Chances are cooperatives were a big part of it from dawn until bedtime. Take a moment to read this quick overview of how co-ops might be impacting you every day. Your morning orange juice might have come from Florida’s Natural, a producerowned cooperative based in – you guessed it – Florida, but distributing throughout the U.S. If your morning coffee came from Equal Exchange (, you get bonus points because they source their coffee from farmer-owned co-ops in developing countries, and they are a worker-owned coop. Likewise, Royal Cup also works with coffee farmers and cooperatives to support them and ensure a viable supply chain of high quality coffee. If you like milk in your coffee or cereal, check this out: more than 86 percent of all fluid milk flows through a coop! The wheat in your muffin or toast was most likely processed through a farmerowned grain elevator in the Midwest. If you had cranberries in that muffin, they likely came from Ocean Spray, or maybe you used Land O’Lakes Butter or Welch’s Concord Grape Jam – all producer-owned co-ops that make the products we love on our toast. After that big co-op breakfast, it is time to start the day. While we don’t have any in our coverage territory, working parents across the country might drop off their young children at one of the more than 1,000 pre-school coops that operate throughout the U.S. Perhaps this is the day to make some improvements to your home. Ace Hardware, True Value and Do It Best are all examples of purchasing co-ops. These are small businesses

that come together to form a co-op so that they can compete with big box retailers that are not owned by people in the local community. You might need to stop by the credit union for a loan or pick up some cash for that home project from one of their 25,000 ATMs in their network. More than 100 million people in the U.S. are members of a credit union, and yep, you guessed it, credit unions are co-ops. On your way home, you may stop at one of the 300 community-owned cooperative grocery stores in the country. Many of the meat products and vegetables are also sourced from co-ops. If you are in a hurry, maybe you swing by KFC, Taco Bell or Pizza Hut to pick up dinner. The franchise owners of these fast food restaurants are all members of a purchasing co-op, just like the hardware stores above. So are the owners of Dunkin Donuts and many other franchises. After dinner, perhaps you are watching TV from one of the more than 1,000 small cable companies that serve rural America that have come together to form a co-op that helps keep costs as low as possible. Or maybe you are surfing the Internet through services provided by your local telecommunications co-op. Travel plans? If you are on a business trip or vacation and staying in a Best Western – that is also a purchasing co-op! And when it’s time for “lights out,” you can count on reliable electricity from your local electric cooperative, your friends at Pioneer Electric Cooperative. From morning until night, you can have a very cooperative day.

Energy Tip of the Month Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire. Source:

Pioneer Electric Cooperative

Special Feature: Recipe Exchange with Rebecca Gordon by Casey B. Rogers

The first time I met Rebecca Kracke Gordon was as a college student, interviewing her for a student publication. Even then, I realized there was something different about her than any other person I had interviewed in the past. Gordon, while carrying many accomplishments and wearing numerous hats — media personality, published cookbook author, Southern lifestyle expert, avid college football fan and more — was simply different. Gordon’s wide array of experience and vivacious personality go hand in hand to intrigue, influence and ignite passion from those around her, including myself. Little did I know that just a few short years after our first interview, Rebecca Gordon and I would still be friends and that our paths would cross again many times, including doing another interview and recipe exchange for Pioneer Electric Cooperative. After 13 years with the Time Inc. brand Southern Living, Gordon launched her very own brand — Buttermilk Lipstick. With the tagline, “Quite simply the bee’s knees of everyday living” the brand has emerged to bring out the ordinary things in life, which, after all, matter the most. Gordon shares 30-minute recipes and great party ideas in “The Half-Hour Hostess” and was the spokesperson for the best seller “The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook,” published by Oxmoor House in 2012. Currently, Gordon features Buttermilk Lipstick tailgating recipes and tips in the fall on Raycom Sports/

Visit for more recipes and ideas from Rebecca Gordon!

Fox 6’s Tide and Tigers Today hosted by Sports Director Rick Karle. When it’s not football season, you’ll find her sharing easy entertaining recipes and ideas monthly on Fox 6 Good Day Alabama, Fox 6 Weekend and ABC 33/ 40 Talk Of Alabama. Gordon is a member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and the Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization that studies and celebrates the South’s rich food culture and history.

Economic Spotlight:

According to the most recent U.S. Census data, small business in Alabama accounts for 97 percent of all employers, and employs almost one-half of the private sector workforce ( Although the SBA defines “small business” as having less than 500 employees, more than 80 percent of the small businesses in Alabama have less than 20 workers. As the backbone of business in the state, plenty of roadblocks exist to business owners, and potential startups as they work not only to keep their enterprises moving forward, but try to keep up with the piles of reports, taxes, forms and other time consuming but necessary paperwork that goes with running a business. In 2014, the Alabama Legislature created the Alabama Small Business Commission (ASBC) to serve in an advisory capacity for the Governor in formulating policies, encouraging innovation, and discussing issues critical to the economic growth of small independent businesses and their interests in Alabama. After only a few meetings, the members of the ASBC, all small and independent business owners, realized that one of the best ways to help small business in Alabama was to provide helpful information. As a result, AtlasAlabama was created.

The AtlasAlabama website (www. is a repository for all sorts of information for folks starting and operating small businesses. According to Governor Bentley, “As government officials, we ought to be in the business of helping the people we serve, and our job is to solve problems,” and the goal of the website is to do just that. Need a business plan? The web site will walk you through it. How about financing? The site will explain it. How much does it cost to start a new business? The site has a “startup cost calculator!” Taxes? Licenses? State forms? Check, check, check! The ASBC urges small business owners to take advantage of the site and to suggest ways to make it better. Rosemary Elebash, the chairman of the ASBC says the AtlasAlabama website is a work in progress, “This website will never be finished; we will always be adding to it, making it easier to navigate and putting in more helpful information.”

Cleve Poole

VP Economic Development and Legal Affairs

AUGUST 2015 5

Recipe Exchange With Rebecca Gordon Rebecca Gordon’s Black and Blue Buttermilk Buckle with Lemon-Cornmeal Streusel is sure to be a summer favorite with ripe, fresh berries starring in a generous slice of southern comfort. So, what exactly is a buckle? A simple vanilla cake with fresh fruit folded into the batter. Topped with a crunchy streusel topping. As the cake bakes, the weight of the streusel forces the leavened cake to buckle, creating a beautifully rustic dessert. When company is coming these buttermilk buckles are reminiscent of fancy coffeecake with the flavor of a fruit filled muffin. Cool completely and slice into stately wedges for a more formal gathering. Or after supper, simply dive into the warm cake straight from the oven. Spoon into bowls and top with a generous helping of vanilla bean ice cream.

Black & Blue Buttermilk Buckle:
 (makes 10 to 12 servings) 1 recipe Lemon-Cornmeal Streusel
 1/2 cup butter, softened 3/4 cup sugar 1 egg 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp whole buttermilk 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp table salt 1 1/3 cups fresh blueberries 1 {6-oz} package fresh blackberries Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the Lemon-Cornmeal Streusel. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. Cream the butter and the sugar with an electric stand mixer on medium speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes. 6  AUGUST 2015

Stop the mixer on occasion and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula Add the egg and blend on low speed just until combined. Stir together the buttermilk, the lemon juice and the vanilla. Set aside. Whisk together the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda and the salt in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture. Blend on low speed after each addition until thoroughly combined. Do not over mix. Fold the fresh blueberries into the cake batter. Generously coat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Spread the batter into the skillet. Sprinkle the top with the blackberries, pressing lightly into the batter. Sprinkle with the Lemon-Cornmeal Streusel, pressing gently over the batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick

tests clean. Let stand for 10 minutes and dive in or cool completely to cut into wedges. Lemon-Cornmeal Streusel: (makes enough for 1 {10-inch} cake) 1/2 cup sugar 6 Tbsp all flour 2 Tbsp plain yellow cornmeal 1/2 tsp lemon zest 3 Tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces Combine the flour, the sugar, the cornmeal and the lemon zest in a small bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or pinch through your fingers until sandy in texture. Use as directed.

Pioneer Electric Cooperative In exchange for Rebecca Gordon’s Buttermilk Buckle recipe, we decided to share two award-winning recipes that have become Pioneer favorites throughout the years. The late Ruby Earnest’s famous Tea Cakes and Linda Horn’s ever-popular Orange Rolls are sure hits. Ruby Earnest served as a dedicated cashier at Pioneer Electric for ten years and Linda Horn currently serves as PEC’s Vice President of Member Services. Both were recognized as first place winners in the Montgomery Advertiser-Alabama Journal and their recipes have been crowd pleasers ever since.

Tea Cakes: By PEC’s Ruby Earnest 1 cup granulated sugar 2 sticks margarine 1 cup oil 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla 4 ½ cups plain flour 1 teaspoon soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 cup powdered sugar Mix first four ingredients and cream well. Next add dry ingredients. Drop mixture on baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. These cookies are extra good when rolled in sifted powdered sugar while still warm.

Orange Rolls: B y P E C ’s Linda Horn Dough: 4 to 4 ½ cups flour 1 package yeast 1 cup of milk 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup butter or margarine 3 eggs Filling: ½ cup butter or margarine 1 cup sugar grated rind of 2 oranges Icing: 1 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice 2 teaspoons grated orange rind P ut t w o c up s flour and yeast in large bowl. Mix well. Heat milk. Add salt, sugar and butter or margarine. Stir to melt butter. Cool u nt i l j u s t warm (115120 degrees).

Add mi l k m i x tu re to flour and yeast. Beat eggs and add to mixture. Beat at low speed on electric mixer for one-half minute, scraping the bowl. Beat three minutes at high speed. Stir in two cups flour or enough to make a moderately soft dough. Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball. Place into a greased bowl and turn once to grease all sides. Cover and let rise in warm place free of draft until double in bulk. Prepare filling: Cream ½ cup butter and one cup sugar. Add grated rind of two oranges and mix well. Punch dough down and turn onto lightly floured board. Divide dough into two equal parts. Roll each in a rectangle ¼ inch thick. Spread ½ of butter mixture on each rectangle. Roll up like jelly roll, starting with long side. Slice oneinch rolls and place cut side up in greased round cake pans. Cover and let rise in warm place free of drafts, until double in bulk. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 18 minutes. Drizzle with icing. Freezes well. Makes three or four round pans.

Flip to the next page for more from Rebecca Gordon!

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015  7

Rebecca Gordon’s Top Ten Baking Tips:

1. 2. 3.

Be sure pie dough is well chilled before baking. This will help produce a tender and flaky crust.


Yeast feeds on sugar for fuel creating a bubbly personality. No bubbles means the yeast isn’t active.


Once the flour mixture is added to cake batter, be certain not to over mix the batter to avoid a tough cake crumb.

Attach a few spots of the dough underneath the pie plate lip to secure the crust in place as it bakes.

An egg wash adds color and shine to a piecrust. For a lighter hue, add a little water to the beaten egg. For a darker, richer color add a touch of heavy cream.


6. 7. 8.

Thinner baking sheets will bake cookies more quickly than thicker, half-sheet pans. Adjust the bake time as necessary to compensate.

Shiny cake pans are best to use to ensure the cake doesn’t over bake or the edges turn too brown. If your pan has a dark exterior, wrap the outside with foil or reduce the bake time a smidgen to compensate.

Flatten cookie dough into discs before chilling for easy rolling and cutting. If the dough becomes too soft to handle, return the dough to the refrigerator for a spell to firm up again.

Work with a small amount of chilled cookie dough at a time to prevent overworking for more tender cookies. A bench scraper is a wonderful tool to use to cut smaller portions from the larger disc.


Drop filled cake pans on the countertop about an inch from the surface to settle air bubbles. This will ensure an even rise to the cake during baking.

Win an autographed cookbook! Four autographed copies of “The Half-Hour Hostess” will be given away at this year’s Annual Member Meeting on Saturday, October 17, 2015. You can enter to win one of the two ways listed to the right. Winners will be announced at the Annual Member Meeting and are encouraged, but not required to attend. Two cookbooks will be given away from the mail-in pool and two cookbooks will be given away from the social media pool.

Submit your name and contact information to Cookbook Contest at P.O. Box 468, Greenville. Alabama 36037 between August 1, 2015 and October 1, 2015.

“Like” the Pioneer Electric Cooperative Facebook page and comment on the cookbook contest post, including your name between August 1, 2015 and October 1, 2015.

8 AUGUST 2015

In August

Spot Light

AUG. 14-23

Restaurant Week highlights Alabama eateries

Among the restaurants signed up for Alabama Restaurant Week are the Original Oyster House eateries in Baldwin County, which will offer oyster po-boys and seafood gumbo for their lunch offerings.

Safety tip: When the power goes out Fast moving summer storms can cause intermittent power outages. When that happens, here are a few tips from the American Red Cross: Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible; check on your neighbors, especially if they’re elderly or infirm; and if you have a portable generator, know how to operate it properly.

Alabama Restaurant Week, which puts the spotlight on locally owned and operated restaurants, will once again unite the state’s diverse range of cuisine. Participating restaurants offer prix fixe, twocourse lunch and/or three-course dinner offerings at an attractive price. No coupons are necessary; just ask for an Alabama Restaurant Week meal at a participating restaurant during the promotion time period. Go to to find participating restaurants.

AUG. 29

Fyffe embraces its unusual UFO past The little DeKalb County town of Fyffe drew a lot of media attention in February 1989, when dozens of people (including some in law enforcement) reported seeing strange lights and shapes in the sky. To celebrate, the town now puts on the annual Fyffe UFO Days (though the organizers say the acronym stands for “Unforgettable Family Outing.”) Hot air balloons are the only flying objects these days, and the event features arts and crafts, children’s activities, a 5K race, food vendors, live entertainment and more at Fyffe Town Park at Graves Street. Call 256-623-7298 or find the event’s page on Facebook.

Five structures make endangered sites list The annual Places in Peril list highlights imperiled places of historical and architectural significance in the state. The 2015 list, compiled by the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation, brings public attention and support to the preservation of these important pieces of the state’s heritage. For more information, visit The Braxton Bragg Comer Bridge in Scottsboro is scheduled for demolition once it is replaced later this year. PHOTO BY ALLISON GRIFFIN

The Montgomery Theatre Building, also known as the Webber Building, in downtown Montgomery suffered a collapse in 2014. PHOTO BY ALLISON GRIFFIN

This year’s nominees: • Malbis Plantation Historic District, Daphne • Braxton Bragg Comer Bridge, Scottsboro • Forney Hall, Jacksonville • Sadler House and Sadler Cemetery, McCalla • Montgomery Theatre Building/Webber Building, Montgomery

Want to see more events or submit your own? Alabama Living

Visit to submit an event and view our calendar or email an event to

AUGUST 2015 9

Power Pack

Got Social Security questions? We’ve got answers In this column, I wanted to share some of the more popular Social Security questions I receive and my answers. Question: My wife didn’t work enough to earn 40 credits to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. Can she qualify on my record? Answer: Even if your spouse has never worked under Social Security, she can, at full retirement age, receive a benefit equal to onehalf of your full retirement amount. Your wife is eligible for reduced spouse’s benefits as early as age 62, as long as you are already receiving benefits. For more information, visit Question: Do I have to give my Social Security number whenever I’m asked? Answer: Giving your Social Security number is voluntary. If requested, you should ask why the person asking needs your Social Security number, how it will be used, what law requires you to give your number, and what the consequences are if you refuse. The answers to these questions can help you decide whether to give your Social

Security number. However, the decision is yours. Keep in mind that requestors might not provide you their services if you refuse to provide your Social Security number. For more information, visit to read or print our publication, Your Social Security Number And Card.

curity will periodically review your case to determine whether you continue to be eligible. If you are still receiving disability benefits when you reach your full retirement age, your disability benefits will automatically be converted to retirement benefits. Learn more about disability benefits at

Question: What is the earliest age I can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits? Answer: The earliest age you can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits is age 62. If you decide to receive benefits before your full retirement age, which for most people is age 66 or 67, you will receive a reduced benefit. Keep in mind you will not be able to receive Medicare coverage until age 65, even if you decide to retire at an earlier age. For more information, go to

Question: Why is there a five-month waiting period for Social Security disability benefits? Answer: The law states Social Security disability benefits can be paid only after you have been disabled continuously throughout a period of five full calendar months. Social Security disability benefits begin with the sixth full month after the date your disability began.  You are not able to receive benefits for any month during the waiting period. Learn more at our website: www. A

Question: Is there a time limit on how long I can receive Social Security disability benefits? Answer: Your disability benefits will continue as long as your medical condition has not improved and you cannot work. Social Se-

Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by e-mail at kylle.

Legislators honored at AREA summer conference State Sen. Greg Reed, a Republican from Jasper, and state Rep. April Weaver, a Republican from Alabaster, were honored as legislators of the year by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. AREA presented the awards at its summer conference in July. Also speaking to co-op managers and board members at the conference were Dr. Tony Frazier, Alabama’s veterinarian, who talked about avian flu concerns, and Dr. Keith Blackwell, associate professor of meteorology at the University of South Alabama, who talked about hurricane forecasts. A 10  AUGUST 2015

State Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, and state Rep. April Weaver accept their 2015 legislator of the year awards from AREA president and CEO Fred Braswell, right, and AREA Vice President for Public Affairs Sean Strickler. Reed and Weaver were recognized at the AREA Summer Conference for their consistent support of electric cooperative interests.

Vacation Bible School ain’t what it used to be Summer is slipping away fast, and by the time you read this, one of summer’s great institutions will be on its way out for another year. Vacation Bible School. As a kid, I never cared much for Vacation Bible School. As far as I was concerned it was just a midsummer reminder of what regular school was like and why we did not want to go back in the fall. Our mothers sent us, as much to get us out of the house as to expose us to religion. And for a week my friends and I were tutored by elderly church ladies, determined to cram as much “Bible” into us as they could in the time the Lord had given them. Two memories stand out. The first was when our teacher told the class that the next day there would be a prize for whoever learned “Luke, 12th Chapter, 22nd through the 30th verse,” Which I dutifully did. And the next day, when she asked who learned it, I raised my hand. “Proceed,” she said. “Luke, 12th Chapter, 22nd through the 30th verse,” I said. And sat down. “Well?” She said. “Well what?” I said. And as Billy (who would one day be a preacher) rose and began to recite about considering the lilies of the field I realized that she wanted us to learn what was in it, not where it was. How was I to know? Another time another Billy (the one who didn’t become a preacher) was asked his favorite Bible verse and that Billy (whose idea of a good time was looking up dirty words in the dictionary) came

back with “Behold, thou art fair, my love” from the Song of Solomon. That was as far as he got. I didn’t know an old woman could move so fast and snatch so hard. Consequently, about all Vacation Bible School taught me was that, if not carefully controlled, children and Bible study can be a volatile combination. Despite this inherent danger, VBS continues and today it is a well-organized mix of religion, fun, food, and free-form frolicking. One year for VBS my church recreated an ancient Jewish market place, complete with craftsmen, a synagogue, a storyteller, a top-of-the-line spice shop, a jeweler, a beggar, and of course, a tax collector. Adults played all these parts. The children played the townsfolk. My wife volunteered me to play the tax collector, so I went about levying taxes on

all sorts of things. A tribal tax – you’re in a tribe, you pay a tax. A synagogue tax – you attend, you pay. A begging tax – the beggar was doing pretty well so I took my cut. The kids responded pretty much like adults respond to the IRS today. Some contributed out of a sense of duty or obligation. Some contributed because they were afraid what might happen if they didn’t. And like grownups, none were particularly happy doing it. So they came with their little purses full of shekels – painted stones. And as they crowded around me, holding out their money in their grubby little fists, one among them wedged through the crowd, got within striking distance, and kicked me. Kicked the tax collector. Just like grownups would like to do. A

Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University. He can be reached at hjackson@

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015  11

The Food Issue

Alabama’s historic restaurants stand the test of time By Jennifer Kornegay


estaurants open and close, come and go, sometimes as quickly as a delicious dish gets devoured. So what keeps things cooking? Is it location, décor, service, selection or food? Hard work or dumb luck? The recipe for success has many ingredients, and probably includes at least a dash of everything above. But when an eatery brings people back year after year, generation after generation, you know they’re doing something right. Many places fit this description across Alabama, so many, in fact, that we didn’t have the space to list them all. But we invite you to plan a visit to one of the historic restaurants we’ve featured and take a taste of our state’s rich food heritage.

The Bright Star

304 19th Street North Bessemer, AL 205-424-9444 The Bright Star’s sampler platter of chicken breast, snapper filet and beef tenderloin are all cooked “Greek style.”

The Bright Star Bessemer

The oldest restaurant in Alabama, the Bright Star is a bright spot in the state’s culinary scene, pleasing patrons’ palates for 108 years. Owners Jimmy and Nicky Koikos have followed in the footsteps of their father Bill and their uncle Pete, who came to Bessemer from Greece in 1923. 12 AUGUST 2015

In 1925, they bought The Bright Star from its founder, Tom Bonduris. By that time, the restaurant had outgrown its original space (and two subsequent spots) and moved to its current location on a downtown corner, the neon glow of its star-shaped sign beckoning hungry visitors inside to find swanky décor and Greekinfluenced seafood and steak specialties inspired by the owners’ origins, a kind of

Mediterranean cuisine. The bold, vibrant flavors of olive oil, lemon and pungent oregano mingle quite comfortably with Southern veggies and fish, coming together to create dishes that have continually delighted diners as evidenced by a century of accolades and continued expansion. The Bright Star can now seat more than 300 people. Yet the interior looks much as it did 100 years ago. In fact, Jimmy and Nicky have recently been returning the main dining area to its former glory, pulling up carpet (installed in the 1960s) to reveal intricate patterns on tile floors, tearing out wood paneling to uncover white Alabama-marble walls, and restoring massive painted murals that depict scenes from their ancestors’ ancient homeland. But while the dining rooms are a throwback, featuring cozy, intimate booths, each with their own sconces, and the professional wait staff in crisp white shirts and black ties provide the stellar service common in the restaurants of yesteryear, the chance to travel back in time is only one part of the Bright Star’s appeal. Another key element is a commitment to make every guest feel special; it’s what Nicky believes has led to the restaurant’s longevity. This dedication earned the brothers and their

restaurant recognition as “An American Classic Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation in 2010, and CNN called The Bright Star one of America’s best historic restaurants. Jimmy and Nicky also credit their loyal employees, many who have been with them for more than 20 years. “We just had someone retire that had been with us 48 years,” Jimmy said. The Bright Star is known for its steaks and fresh seafood, especially its snapper, as Chef Andreas Anastassakis, Jimmy’s and Nicky’s second cousin, explained. “We bring in more than 1,000 pounds of Gulf snapper each week,” he said. “And we buy it direct from the fishermen, bring in the whole fish, and break them down here so we have them just how we like them.” And they do like them. In addition to being at the top of most customers’ lists, the fried snapper is Nicky’s favorite dish (with turnip greens and Greek potatoes), and Jimmy loves the Greek snapper. Bright Star’s steaks have won acclaim too; the zesty Greek-style beef tenderloin, infused with a savory zest thanks to a soak in a multi-layered marinade, was named the best steak in the state by the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association.

C. F. Penn Hamburgers Decatur

The owner of C.F. Penn Hamburgers enjoys hearing the stories of customers who remember coming to the eatery with their grandparents, and who now bring their own grandkids.

For 88 years, C.F. Penn Hamburgers has been doing its signature hamburgers the same way, yet using a technique that definitely sets them apart. “We deep fry them, and folks either love them or they don’t.” Owner William Vandiver was matter of fact about the method but emphatic that “everybody should try one at least once.” The greasy spoon first began in 1927 in Hartselle and opened a location in Decatur in 1936. The Hartselle location closed, but C.F. Penn thrived in its second home and has been

The interior at The Bright Star, above, looks much as it did 100 years ago. Below, owners Jimmy Koikos, left, and Nicky Koikos operate The Bright Star with Chef Andreas Anastassakis, center. CNN called it one of America’s best historic restaurants.

in its current spot in Decatur since 1973. It remained in the Penn family until just a few years ago, when Vandiver bought it from an aging Penn who was ready to slow down. “They never changed anything, and I’m not going to,” he said. “People value our consistent quality.” Beef is brought in fresh every morning, hand-fashioned into patties and still topped only with onions and mustard. “That’s it,” Vandiver said. “Folks sometimes get confused by no mayo or lettuce, but that’s not what goes on our burgers.” You can customize your order a bit by adding a sprinkle or two of the red-pepper mix found on each table. “It’s not too spicy and good on fries too,” Vandiver said. He bought the place because he didn’t want to see it close. “I’m proud to be preserving this piece of Alabama history,” he said.

C. F. Penn Hamburgers

121 Moulton St. East Decatur, AL 256-355-0513 Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015 13

Busy Bee Cafe

101 5th Street SE Cullman, AL 256-734-9958 busybeecafealabama. com

Busy Bee Cafe Cullman

In April 2011, a massive tornado tore through Cullman, leveling much of downtown. Along with many other businesses and homes, the storm destroyed the Busy Bee Café, opened in 1919. One of its menus was found wet and torn but intact 70 miles away. But the beloved restaurant, known for its diner standards, wasn’t gone for long. Owner Kyle Spears and his family built it back within a year of the disaster. In 2007, Spears started running the café his parents bought in 1967, and he and his sister are now keeping the legacy alive. He stressed why they chose to come back. “We knew that people

wanted us back. We have folks who come here daily, and they come because we treat people like family, not like customers,” he said. The building may be new, but some of the food is decidedly old school, really old. The Busy Bee is famous for its breaded burgers, black Angus ground beef patties augmented with bread crumbs to create a crispy exterior and juicy interior. It’s one of only a few places left in the country still making hamburgers this way. The fried bologna sandwich is another of the café’s claims to fame: thick-cut, salty bologna grilled on a flat-top grill gains a thin brown crust and is layered with a smear of mayo and a bit of lettuce between two slices of white bread toast. Locals also rave about the café’s breakfast items and desserts.

You’ll find more than diner food at the Busy Bee Café. All of its cakes, cobblers and pies are made in house.

Julwin’s Fairhope

The city of Fairhope draws tourists in droves with its proximity to Mobile Bay and downtown’s charming flower-lined sidewalks filled with shopping and eating options. But sitting unassumingly down the street from the public library, Julwin’s, opened in 1945, is Baldwin County’s oldest restaurant, and is, by itself, reason enough to travel to this tiny town, especially if you agree with the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. According to owner David Jewett, their morning-time offerings are their forte, and almost every item on the breakfast menu is a feast. After a plate of bigger-than-your-face pancakes or an omelette large enough to feed a small army, you may not even need another meal. “We are just a part of many people’s wake-

A whole lotta history Some other longtime Alabama restaurants and their best known dishes:

Martin’s, Montgomery Opened: 1930 Eat: Fried Pulley Bones Come lunchtime on Sunday, this popular meat-n-three joint is hopping with hungry locals ready for heaping helpings of comfort food. There’s a weekly race from church services all 14 AUGUST 2015


411 Fairhope Ave. Fairhope, AL 251-990-9372

up routine; they come in here, have coffee and some good food and visit,” he said. While David often opts for the French toast, which strikes that sought-after balance of crisp and soft, the No. 1 seller is the spinach omelet.

over the capital city to Martin’s unassuming building. Familyowned and operated since first opening, the restaurant stays plenty busy the rest of the week, too, thanks to tried and true favorites like fried chicken, including the highly sought-after pulley bone cut, meatloaf, fried chicken livers, chopped steak, greens, black-eyed peas, fried okra, sweet potato casserole, cornbread muffins and more.

1796 Carter Hill Road 334-265-1767 Chris’ Hot Dogs Montgomery Opened: 1917 Eat: A dog “all the way” Chris’ Hot Dogs’ green and white striped awning is an iconic landmark on Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue downtown. For almost a century, Chris’ has been

Julwin’s has been serving up tasty breakfast fare to hungry Baldwin County diners for 70 years.

drenching dogs in a thin, ruddy red secret-recipe sauce, sautéed onions and wisps of pale kraut that can count country crooning legend Hank Williams among its legions of fans. 138 Dexter Ave. 334-265-6850 Irondale Café, Irondale Opened: 1928 Eat: Fried green tomatoes

At Payne’s Soda Fountain and Sandwich Shop, the owners have committed to staying true to its soda shop roots. Its soda fountain dates to 1939.

Payne’s Soda Fountain & Payne’s Soda Fountain Sandwich & Sandwich Shop Shop Scottsboro 101 East Laurel St. Scottsboro, AL 256-574-2140

The sodas your grandfather grew up slurping are still served with bites of oldfashioned lunch counter fare at Payne’s Soda Fountain & Sandwich Shop, which opened in 1869 as a drug store and moved to where it is now in 1891. The Payne family retains ownership of the building, but Lisa Garrett and her daughter Jessica Walton own and operate the restaurant. “Payne’s was the first place to have a soda water fountain in the state, and the soda fountain we use today is from 1939,”

Hunt’s Seafood Restaurant Dothan

Hunt’s has evolved from a three-stool oyster bar on the side of a gas station, first shucking and serving in 1956, to a full-service steak and seafood restaurant that seats 350 people and is a major point of pride in the Wiregrass area. Tim Reeves took over after his dad, Billy Joe, who opened it, passed away, and believes that being personable has kept the restaurant going. “I know 80 percent of our customers, not just by name, but I know their entire family story,” he said.

This Irondale institution is best known as the “original Whistle Stop Café,” as its ambiance and now-famous fried green tomatoes provided some of the inspiration for Fannie Flagg’s novel of the same name, which was also made into a movie. Today, the restaurant serves up to 70 pounds of the golden crisp-tart discs every weekday, and even more on weekends. 1906 1st Ave. North 205-956-5258 Alabama Living

Jessica said. They’ve added a few things, but she and her mom have kept the menu relevant to Payne’s soda shop roots. Ice cream floats and vanilla Cokes bring in the crowds, as do Reubens, chicken salad croissants and Payne’s signature red-slaw hotdog, an offering Jessica says they could never stop making. “They are a part of this place’s history,” she said. And they’re bringing back a bit of Payne’s heritage with a fun addition to its décor. “In the old days, lots of soda fountains had their ceilings covered with the thin paper wrappers that straws come in, so we’re in the process of doing that now, and our customers think that’s really cool.”

“And people like that; everyone likes to feel special and not like they’re just a number, especially when they go to eat out.” Always serving fresh, never frozen, food and paying attention to the details has grown the business too. “We are known for our oysters; that’s what made us,” Tim said, “but I really like our shrimp as well, and any way we do them, fried, grilled, we do them right.” Tim also praised his restaurant’s steaks. “I know people say don’t order seafood at a steak place or the opposite, but we do a great steak.” A

All Steak, Cullman Opened: 1938 Eat: Orange rolls (they’re served to everyone at the end of the meal) Serving a wide range of American classics as well as Southern staples, All Steak was supposed to be named All Steak Hamburgers, but when its original owner couldn’t afford the extra letters to spell “Hamburger” for its sign, he settled with simply All Steak. It’s changed ownership and lo-

cations in Cullman through the years, but has remained a local hangout. 323 3rd Ave., SE 256-734-4322 Ezell’s Fish Camp, Lavaca Opened: 1954 Eat: Hushpuppies In a little cabin on the banks of the Tombigbee River, Ezell’s has been frying up fresh catfish for more than 80 years. Its rendition of this mainstay

Hunt’s Seafood Restaurant 177 Campbellton Highway Dothan, AL 334-794-5193 huntsrestaurant .com

of Alabama’s agricultural culture, which also comes grilled or blackened, as well as its golden hushpuppies and cole slaw have earned the devotion of locals and visitors and led to numerous Ezell’s locations opening all over the state. The original spot is still run by an Ezell. 776 Ezell Road 205-654-2205

AUGUST 2015 15

The Food Issue

Eat Alabama:

Snacks, sauces, sweets and more By Jennifer Kornegay

variety of fruits and veggies;


they raise chickens, beef and

Golden Flake Thin & Crispy Chips: The grand-

Alabama farmers grow a wide

pork; and our fishermen and shrimpers catch and net huge harvests of Gulf seafood, making it fairly easy to find and eat

daddy of Alabama snacks, these paper-thin, fried potato slices are descendants of the chips that started it all for Birmingham’s Magic City Foods, founded in 1923. goldenflake. com Get Some: in grocery stores around the Southeast.

Alabama foods. But thanks to some innovative cooks and companies transforming our state’s agricultural bounty into all manner of edible products, you can take the idea of “eating local” far beyond meat and produce. Check out these snacks, sauces, sweets and more that

Wickles Pickles: Salty

and tangy with a little sweet and a nice punch of spice, Wickles Pickles are “wickedly delicious.” Based in Dadeville, this pickle purveyor relies on a decades-old family recipe to create pickled products including traditional pickles, okra, pepper strips and jalapenos. Get Some: In grocery stores around Alabama or order from the website.

Dayspring Dairy: The only licensed sheep dairy in the state, this all-natural farm in Gallant creates several artisanal cheeses from the milk produced by the “girls” in its flock of 80 sheep that roam and graze on the grassy hills of Northeast Alabama. It’s a true family business; Greg Kelly is the shepherd, and his wife Ana, the cheesemaker. Their young kids pitch in too, helping the farm craft its Ewetopia, a raw milk-aged Gouda, its Halloumi and its Farmhouse Feta. Get Some: order from the website.

are Alabama born and bred. 16 AUGUST 2015

Sauces Alabama Sunshine Hot Sauce: In Fayette, Fred and

Hummus People: When you think of Southern foods, hummus may not be on your list, but that’s just what this Athens company is turning out. Handmade in small batches, Hummus People’s smooth, creamy versions of this condiment range from the classic to the truly creative, like Voodoo Jalapeno Hummus and Roasted Garlic Masala Hummus. Get Some: At Pepper Place Farmer’s Market in Birmingham and other markets around the state. Jala-Jala Salsa: Some

like it hot, and if you’re in this fiery faction, JalaJala relishes and salsas were made with you in mind. This Huntsville company is doing delicious things with jalapeno peppers grown in nearby Meridianville. Try the Texacan Salsa or the Amarillo Gold jalapeno-corn relish. Get Some: At specialty markets around the state or order from the website. Alabama Living

Sally Smith have been making their Alabama Sunshine hot sauces from fresh pepp ers for more than 20 years. The company offers 50 products, but with a well-rounded heat that won’t burn but will add a noticeable kick, its original sauce is still the fan favorite. Get Some: At specialty stores around the state or order f rom the website.

Dale’s Seasoning: This

dark concoction is the perfect partner for steaks, burgers, chicken and more. It began as the “house marinade” for Dale’s Cellar Restaurant in Birmingham. Patrons so loved the salty sauce with a tang, in the 1940s, they started begging for some to take home, which they did, in washed-out soda bottles. Now Dale’s marinade is a staple in many a Southern kitchen. G e t S ome: In grocery store s throughout the Southeast or order from the website.

Dreamland BBQ Sauce: This Tuscaloosa barbecue legend may be best known for its ribs, but the glistening red sauce that clings to the meat is equally famous. The recipe has never changed and likely never will. Get Some: At one of the Dreamland locations around the state or order from the website.

A Few More Bites of Bama Our state is full of wonderful farms, families and companies producing Alabamamade foods.

Conecuh Sausage

Eastaboga Bee Company Honey eastabogabeecompany. com

Moore’s Buffalo Wing Sauce: Like lightning in a bottle, this pout-puckering brilliantly orange sauce will electrify your taste buds. A cousin to the Moore’s Original Marinade, introduced more than 30 ye ars a g o at restaurant in Jasper, Moore’s Wing Sauce has gained nationwide acclaim. Get Some: At grocery stores across the country.

Millie Ray’s Sweet Rolls To Your Health Sprouted Flours Piper & Leaf Teas Sweet Home Farms Cheeses McEwen and Sons Organic Stone-Ground Grits Oakview Farms Stone-Ground Grits

AUGUST 2015 17

Buy the Bottle Be it sweet, spicy, red, white or orange, there’s no denying that Alabama is home to some of the best barbecue sauces around. And many of the most famous savory sidekicks for slow-smoked meats can be mailed right to your door, making it easy for you to always have your favorite at hand. In honor of the Year of Alabama Barbecue, here are a few we think you know and can almost guarantee you’ll like. Full Moon Bar-B-Que order from fullmoonbbq. com Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q order from Jim N’ Nick’s Bar-B-Q order from Saw’s BBQ order from Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q order from

ALAGA Syrup: Made in Montgomery by the ALAGA/ Whitfield Foods company (still family owned), this sticky stuff celebrated a century of pure cane goodness in 2006, and this Deep-South delicacy is best enjoyed drizzled on a fat buttermilk biscuit. Get Some: At grocery stores in Alabama or order from the website. Hot Damn Jelly Company:

Pepper jelly is pretty simple stuff, but the folks at Hot Damn in Auburn have take the time-honored tradition blending sweet and heat and elevated it to an art form. Using peppers they grow and other ingredients that they always source locally, Hot Damn is embellishing their tongue tantalizing products with fruits like peaches, strawberries and raspberries. Get Some: At specialty stores around Alabama and in Georgia or order on the website.

Sweets Fox Point Farm Caramels: Buttery,

sugary, chewy (but not enough to stick to your teeth), the caramels crafted at Fox Point Farm in the Lake Martin area can credit their delicate but definite hint of something extra to the goat’s milk they use, which comes from their resident goats. thefoxpointfarm. com Get Some: At specialty stores around the state including the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop and Goat Hill Museum Store in Montgomery or order from the website.

G Mommas Cookies:

Named for owner Robert Armstrong’s grandmother “Gammy,” and inspired by her recipes and her belief that good food can nourish more than your body, G Mommas Cookies are thin, crispy, bite-sized bits of love. Made in Selma by Armstrong’s Selma Good Co., the cookies come in a variety of flavors including butterscotch oatmeal and chocolate chip pecan. Get Some: At Cracker Barrel restaurants, Wor l d Markets across the United States or order from the website.

Punta Clara Kitchen Divinity: Made

in Point Clear at this candy kitchen that’s been using old-fashioned techniques to turn out a wide variety of treats since 1952, these dreamy white drops of heavenly delight melt in your mouth. Get Some: At the Punta Clara Kitchen in Point Clear or order from the website.

Priester’s Pralines: The family pecan shelling and gourmet candy company in Fort Deposit uses the iconic Southern nut in many ways (in addition to selling them shelled and plain), but enrobed in a coat of cooked butter and sugar is one of the most satisfying ways to enjoy them. Get Some: At Priester’s retail shop in Fort Deposit or order from the website. A

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015  19

The Food Issue

Sweet Home Alabama By Jennifer Kornegay

Bread Pudding Our Place Wetumpka

Dense, rich and subtly sweet, this old-fashioned after-dinner indulgence is done simply and done right at this charming intimate restaurant in downtown. 334-567-8778


ho doesn’t love dessert? Whether you prefer a thick, icing-covered chunk of cake, a warm wedge of pie or a scoop of frosty ice cream, these sugary sensations

are the perfect punctuation points to end any meal. Calm your craving for the sweet life and cap your dining out adventures with some of Alabama’s best confectionary creations.

Peach Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie

Chilton County’s prized peaches find their perfect expression in the light and fresh ice cream created at Peach Park. It’s laced with a barely-there sugary sweet but bursting with bright, just-picked peach flavor. 205755-2065

There are few flavors that play as well together as milk chocolate and peanut butter, and when the Original Oyster House marries the happy couple (with a shot of Kahlua to keep ‘em cozy) and places them in a crushed-cookie pie shell, the match reaches must-eat status.

Peach Park, Clanton

Original Oyster House, Gulf Shores

Coconut Cake

Heavenly Hash

Coconut can evoke strong reactions; most folks either love it or hate it. If you fall into the “love it” camp, the coconut cake at this local gathering spot is your dream come true. Moist, milky white cake with a hint of the tropical treat’s taste is layered with thick sour cream icing and generously dusted with shredded coconut.

This cute candy shop in downtown Mobile has been handcrafting bites of delight, including fudge and its Heavenly Hash, a concoction of marshmallows and pecans smothered in chocolate, for more than 90 years.

Coffee Well, Gadsden

Three Georges, Mobile

Black Bottom Pie Gaines Ridge Dinner Club, Camden Owner Betty Kennedy makes her restaurant’s Black Bottom Pie the same way her mom did, infusing a heavy egg custard with rum and resting it on a dark-chocolate coated gingersnap crust before blanketing it all with whipped cream.

What’s your favorite sweet treat in our state? Write us at


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Is this the year for the or ?

Tigers Tide

By Brad Bradford


ast year was the first year of the “Final Four” for the college football playoffs. It proved to be the most popular year EVER for college football (according to the ratings). Every Tuesday night that Jeff Long, the playoff chairman, came on TV to disclose the standings, we were all glued to our sets for the drama and controversy that accompanied his announcement. Ohio State should send Hugh Freeze of Ole Miss a bottle of wine. They were able to “back in” to the playoffs when No. 4 Mississippi State lost to the Rebels. My Final Four picks in Alabama Living last year were Alabama, Oregon, FSU and Auburn (instead of Ohio State). If the old BCS had been in place, Alabama would have played undefeated Florida State for the National Championship.

AUBURN ANALYSIS: 2014: I drank the orange and blue Kool-Aid and picked the Tigers to win the national championship. That drink got bitter as the defense gave up more than 400 yards in its last seven SEC games and lost its last four games that counted (forget about Samford) to finish 8-5. They did not play with the passion, physicality and energy that Auburn is known for. How could a team beat LSU by 34, then lose to Mississippi State by 15, and lose to Georgia 34-7? The offense became too one-dimensional and finished 66th in the nation in passing. (They were ranked 106th and 112th nationally in this category the previous two years.) TIGER TIDBITS: Ask any Auburn fan why 2015 is going to be better and the answer will always be these two names in this order: Will Muschamp and Jeremy Johnson. Muschamp, the new defensive coordinator and past head coach at Florida, will restore the enthusiasm and proven scheme that has been missing. He is an excellent coach but the front seven are going to have to get more physical. Getting Carl Lawson back from knee surgery gives them the pass rusher who was missing last year. The starting corners, Jonathan Jones and Joshua Holsey, are both seniors and experienced leaders. The fact that they are short (less than 6 feet tall) could be a factor when playing man to man against taller receivers. Senior linebackers Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy are better suited for Muschamp’s scheme. At quarterback, Jeremy Johnson has all the physical tools: 6 foot 5 inches tall, great arm, and excellent leader. He is being judged 22 AUGUST 2015

based on two starts: Western Carolina and last year’s opener against Arkansas. He will bring a passing threat that has been missing. Losing dependable WR Sammie Coates will put more pressure on Duke Williams to pick up the slack. All-purpose kicker Daniel Carlson hit all 57 PATs without a miss and 62 percent of his kickoffs were touchbacks. SCHEDULE: The opener against Louisville is going to be a major challenge. U of L will bring a large, loud crowd to Atlanta. Two weeks later, the Tigers’ first SEC game is against LSU on the road. LSU has a tough road game the week before they meet Auburn, against Mississippi State. This could be the “make or break” game for both sets of Tigers. An LSU loss could send Les Miles eating grass in a different pasture next year. Auburn catches a schedule break this year by drawing Kentucky and playing traditional rival Georgia at home. Kentucky could be a Thursday night trap game (looking ahead) since the next three weeks in a row are against West foes Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.

ALABAMA ANALYSIS: 2014: When you win three national championships in four years, anything short of the crystal football is a down year. The Tide won the West, won the SEC championship, and was ranked No. 1 heading into the semifinal playoff game against Ohio State. Alabama found a way to win close games against Arkansas, LSU, Missis

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015 23

sippi State and Auburn while being outplayed and losing to Ole Miss and the Buckeyes. Lane Kiffin worked miracles with Blake Sims last year at quarterback and seemed to draw up plays in the dirt to get the ball to Bama’s most prolific weapon: Amari Cooper. Unfortunately, both have graduated. The Tide’s defense fell to No. 11 in the nation because its pass defense was ranked 58th. TIDE TIDBITS: Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart moves back to coach his natural position: linebackers. The secondary has been a weakness for the Tide. Nick Saban hired former NFL defensive coordinator Mel Tucker to shore up this group that earned the nickname of “Toast” last year since it was burned so many times. Alabama’s defensive front seven may be the best in the country. A’Shawn Robinson will draw double teams to free up linebacker Reggie Ragland. The huge question on offense is the same as it was last year: Who will be the quarterback? Jake Coker finished the spring with a slight edge over freshman David Cornwell. However, this could change quickly. Kiffin’s favorite playmaker is RB Kenyon Drake (lost last year to knee injury). His versatility as a runner and receiver will cause matchup problems. (Reminder: he split out on the opening play against Florida last year and caught an 87-yard touchdown pass.) The offense returns only two starters. Junior running back Derrick Henry has to emerge as a leader and force teams to play eight in the box. Bama’s MVP again will be All-American punter J.K. Scott. More than 56 percent of his punts were downed inside the 20, causing a long field for the opponent’s offense.

Georgia has to play both Alabama and Auburn; and the TennesseeGeorgia game is in Knoxville. As always, Gary Pinkel and Missouri could sneak in. SEC WEST PREDICTION: 1. Alabama 2. Auburn 3. Texas A&M 4. Arkansas 5. LSU 6. Ole Miss 7. Mississippi State. The race will come down to the Iron Bowl. Every year that Saban has had a dominating front seven, they limit the opponent’s chances and play ball control. That will be this year’s blueprint. If Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson stays healthy and the defense develops, the Tigers will be there. After these top two, anybody with a pulse could pick any of the other 5 teams and have a good argument. All seven teams from the West could finish in the top 20. FINAL FOUR POSSIBILITIES: Every magazine, TV talking head, radio talk show host, Yankee and SEC hater is picking Ohio State to win it all again. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. Since the BCS started in 1998, only one team has repeated as National Champions: Alabama in 2011 and 2012. The Buckeyes have been hearing since January that they will repeat in a walkover. Any team that has three different starting quarterbacks will have locker room problems. Remember, we are dealing with 18- to 22-year olds. They open at Virginia Tech, a team that beat OSU by two touchdowns last year. Ten teams have a chance to make the playoffs: (SEC) Auburn, Alabama; (ACC) Florida State, Clemson; (PAC 12) Oregon, Southern Cal; (BIG 12) Baylor, TCU; (BIG 10) Ohio State, Michigan State.

2015 Iron Bowl: This will be one for the ages in Auburn.

SCHEDULE: Bama’s opponents won more than 62 percent of their games last year, the fourth best in the country. The Tide plays Texas A&M, Tennessee and LSU in a row. Tough enough. The fact that ALL three have open dates before playing Bama makes it even tougher. The fifth game of the year, at Georgia, will be a barnburner. The Dogs have four easy games before the Oct. 3 matchup. The Iron Bowl is in Auburn this year and should decide the West. 2015 IRON BOWL: This will be one for the ages in Auburn. Both teams will be either undefeated or have no more than one loss. It will all come down to previous injuries to key players, depth and ball control. Gus Malzahn’s strength is a power running game. Bama’s defensive strength is stopping the run. Bama 36-Auburn 30. SEC EAST PREDICTION: 1. Tennessee 2. Georgia 3. Missouri 4. Florida 5. South Carolina 6. Kentucky 7. Vanderbilt. The Vols get the nod over the Dogs for three reasons: Their quarterback, Josh Dobbs, is solid while Georgia will be starting their third QB in three years; 24 AUGUST 2015

FINAL FOUR PREDICTION: No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Auburn in Cotton Bowl. Ohio State 41-Auburn 37. No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 TCU in Orange Bowl. Alabama 31TCU 21. National Championship game in Glendale, Arizona: Bama vs. Ohio State. The Tide has been waiting a year for this revenge game against the Buckeyes. Since Nick Saban came to Alabama in 2007, they have NEVER gone 3 years without a national championship. This makes the third year: Alabama 42-Ohio State 33. A Brad Bradford retired from coaching football at the high school and college level after 21 years. He is the author of the humorous book “Hang In There Like Hair In A Biscuit” ( and is the president and retirement income specialist for Bradford Consulting Group ( Brad and his wife, Susan, split time between their homes in Wetumpka and Destin, Florida. He can be reached at

Share your Iron Bowl memories! For many Alabamians, the annual Auburn-Alabama game is more than just a gridiron contest. If you have an Iron Bowl story to share, send us a note and a photo by Sept. 30 to Allison Griffin at We may use your story in the November issue (just in time for the big game!)

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015  25

26  AUGUST 2015

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015  27

Robot Zoo at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Take a family-friendly trip before summer ends

If you’re looking for ways to keep the kids active, take this summer as an opportunity to relax, reconnect, unplug, and have fun-filled day trips with them before summer’s end. Here are a few locations across our state that are day trip or weekend-worthy for some quality family time.

North Alabama

Point Mallard Park: Located in Decatur, Point Mallard Park includes a water park, golf course, an ice complex, and batting cages. This place is a jack-of-all-trades for whatever type of experience your family is looking for, including hiking/ walking trails, outdoor pavilions, and baseball fields. For ticket information, hours and more visit Southern Adventures is a family friendly water amusement park located in Huntsville. It offers year-round entertainment ranging from a go-kart racetrack, rock climbing walls, golf courses and carnival rides. Even better news . . . there is no entrance fee. Take the family for the day and simply pay as you play! U.S. Space and Rocket Center: This center in Huntsville has a large variety of programs for the science savvy including Rocket Park, a rocket collection, and a Main Exhibit Area filled with information and memorabilia from NASA’s space program. This trip is also one for the senses with its 67-foot IMAX Spacedome Theater. The Children’s Museum of the Shoals offers hands-on exhibits geared to children at all development stages. Children can play and learn in a safe environment that stimulates the imagination and expands cultural literacy and science. For more information go to Sci-Quest Hands on Science Center in Huntsville offers a variety of experiences including daily summer camps, Full-Spectrum Science for children on every color of the autism spectrum, and daily activities for general admission fees.


28 AUGUST 2015

By Alethia Russell

Central Alabama

McWane Science Center: Open daily, the McWane Science Center in Birmingham is known for giving children a place to “see, hear, touch and experience science every day.” The Science Center has four floors of interactive exhibits and an IMAX dome theater that brings images to life. Desoto Caverns Family Fun Desoto Caverns Park is a historic show cave located in Childersburg. The cave offers tours that teach the history of the Indians that lived and died in the caverns, Confederate soldiers who mined gunpowder and early Indian traders. Each tour includes a laser light, sound and water show as well as gem panning, crystal find, water golf and paddle boats. Alabama Splash Adventures in Bessemer is a family trip just minutes away from Birmingham. The venue offers water adventures including a “Misti-cal” water maze, the Splashdown that sends riders on a 50-foot plunge into the water pool, an adventure course and more.

South Alabama

Adventure Land Theme Park in Dothan offers quite the adrenaline rush with attractions like batting cages, gokarts, bumper boats and mini golf. Fuel the family with treats from the snack bar, and send Adventure Land them back out for some wholesome family interaction. For more information on pricing and hours go to Adventure Island in Orange Beach caters to … well, the adventurous! This location features a giant volcano, go-karts, laser tag, mini-golf, and more. The Alligator Arcade features rollercoaster simulators and a rock-climbing wall and more than 100 video games. Sharky’s Family Adventure Park in Orange Beach offers two Sky Trails Adventure Ropes Courses for participants to test their agility and balance. They also have four Skyline Zip line connections and Sky Tykes, a smaller version of Sky Trails for smaller children. Waterville U.S.A. in Gulf Shores is less than a mile away from the beach. Travellers can enjoy the 20-acre water and amusement park for one entry fee. The amusement park includes a House of Bounce, Cannonball Run roller coaster, and NASCAR go-karts. The water park includes 17 water slides, a lazy pool, Flowrider and more.

Around Alabama

AUGUST 1 • Fairhope, Third Annual Pelican Paddle Canoe and Kayak Race at the Tonsmeire Weeks Bay Resource Center. The race course is 3.5 miles with awards for first, second, and third place in seven categories. Visit www.eventbrite. com to register or call Weeks Bay Foundation for information: 251-990-5004. 1, 8-9 • Union Springs, “The Mystery of Miz Arnette” at the Red Door Theatre. Set in 1934 during Oklahoma’s devastating Dust Bowl, Miz Arnette arrives to rent a room that has been advertised but already rented. The teenage daughter of the house strikes a deal and takes in the intriguing stranger that would forever change her life. For ticket prices and show times, call the theatre at 334-738-8687, email or visit 7-8 • Albertville, Main Street Music Festival in downtown Albertville. Music on two stages, vendors, children’s area, fire hydrant ring toss, chicken races for charity, 5k race, kids bike parade and more. Entertainment this year includes .38 Special, Tracy Lawrence and Exile. Admission is free. 8 • Dothan, 13th Annual Dothan Indian Artifact Show at the Westgate Gym on Ross Clark Circle. The show will be open from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; $2 donation. There will also be educational displays for pre-Colombian artifacts, Civil War memorabilia, fossils, and other Southern antiquities. Kids are welcome. Onsite barbecue for lunch. 8 • Somerville, Terry Smith Workshop and Performance at the Soggy Bottom Music Barn. “Far Side Banks of Jordan” composer and performer Terry Smith will perform and conduct a songwriter’s workshop. Smith ap-

pears on Midwest Country broadcasts from RFD TV and tours nationwide annually. Information: 256-606-7083, 256-566-6039 or 256-778-8432. 13 • Fairhope, Fashion Show 2015 at The Venue. Fashions from Ann Taylor Loft, Chico’s, Brown Eyed Girl and Kohls, as well as a silent auction. Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is $40, must be 21 or older. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Family Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Information: 251-423-1638. 14 • Montgomery, 13th Annual Alzheimer’s Professional and Caregiver Conference will be held at Frazer United Methodist Church. Dr. Daniel C. Potts, neurologist, will be the keynote speaker. There will also be a special presentation of the documentary “I’ll Be Me,” the story of Glen Campbell’s journey with Alzheimer’s. For tickets, visit https://eventbrite. com/event/1658709688 or www. 14 • Pisgah, “Rockin’ the Gorge” at Pisgah Civitan Park, 6 p.m.-10 p.m. The event will feature Southern Rock band Burning Bridges. The Pisgah Civitan Club will be selling hamburgers, hotdogs and drinks. Admission will be $10 per car. Bring your own chairs and blankets. No coolers or alcoholic beverages. 14-15 • Russellville, Franklin County Watermelon Festival. Franklin County, the Watermelon Capital of Alabama, hosts the 35th annual Watermelon Festival. Watermelon contests with arts and craft vendors and entertainment beginning Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. The festival is free and so is a slice of delicious watermelon. Information: 256-332-1760 or

14-16 • Montgomery, Buckmasters Expo at the Montgomery Convention Center. Friday, 3-9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy a weekend full of exciting, family friendly attractions. Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship, meet Michael Waddell of “Bone Collector,” Young Bucks kid’s activities and more. General expo information: Buckmasters customer service, 1-800240-3337. 14-23 • Birmingham, Birmingham Restaurant Week. BRW offers incentives for Birmingham-area residents to revisit their favorite restaurants or to experience recently opened venues for the first time. Restaurants will offer special two and/or three-course prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus in the $5, $10, $20 and $30 per person range during the 10-day event. 15 • Jacksonville, Guided Archaeology Tour of Calhoun and St. Clair counties. JSU’s Dr. Harry Holstein hosts a guided archaeology tour of various sites including Janney Iron Furnace, a 19th century battlefield and river locks, a prehistoric Indian village and more. Transportation is provided, but space is limited. Admission: $15 per person (ages 14 and older). To preregister (required), contact: Renee Morrison, 256-782-8010. 22 • Daviston, Muster on the Tallapoosa, commemorating the establishment of Horseshoe Bend National Military Park. There will be living history events that show what life was like during the early 1800s for both American Indians and the earliest American settlers in frontier territory. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. www.nps.

gov/hobe. 23 • Talladega, An Afternoon of Praise 2015 at the Historic Talladega Ritz Theatre. Concerts feature contemporary and traditional Christian music and will begin at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Admission is $15 ticket and a couple bags of

To place an event, e-mail or visit You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations. Alabama Living

non-perishable food items. Email:, or visit

29 • Cullman, Farm Y’all Farm to Fork Festival at Festhalle Market Platz. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Giant pumpkins and watermelon contests, celebrity chefs, entertainment, the 4-H Chick Chain, Water Wheels Outdoor Water Conservation Lab, and more ongoing games and activities. Visit the website for information on the Farm to Fork Dinner. 29-30 • Tensaw, Fort Mims Living History and Re-enactment Weekend. Experience the life of early pioneers and Creek Indians living in 1813 Tensaw County. Crafters will display their 1800s wares including pottery made from local clay, beadwork, basket making, skinning, flint napping and more. Admission is $5 for all 12 years of age and older; Blue Star Museum, active duty military and family are admitted free. Contact: Claudia Slaughter Campbell, 251-533-9024 or


7 • Ider, 29th Annual Ider Mule Day at the Ider Town Park. Draft horse and mule pull and show, trail competition/obstacle course, antique tractors and engines, food, arts and crafts and music. Car show begins at 8 a.m., parade at 9:30 a.m. and events/ competition begin at 11 a.m. Admission: $2, children 4 and under are free. No pets allowed. Information: 256-657-4184. Like Alabama Living on facebook Follow Alabama Living on Twitter@Alabama_Living

AUGUST 2015 29

Best Alabama 16


It’s back! Once again, Alabama Living readers have a chance to vote on the places and things that make our state great! We’ve got some new categories this year. So check out the categories, pick one answer for each category, or tell us what’s your choice for the “Best of Alabama”!

Travel 1. Best place to take the family for a weekend getaway. [ ] North Alabama mountains [ ] Gulf beaches [ ] Historic destinations [ ] Your Choice __________________

2. Best uniquely Alabama experience on your bucket list. [ ] World’s Longest Yard Sale [ ] Hiking the North Alabama mountains [ ] Attending the Iron Bowl [ ] Your Choice __________________


3. Best baseball player from Alabama (past) [ ] Hank Aaron [ ] Satchel Paige

[ ] Willie Mays [ ] Your Choice __________________

4. Best boxer from Alabama (past or present) [ ] Joe Louis [ ] Deontay Wilder

[ ] Evander Holyfield [ ] Your Choice __________________

5. Best Alabama sportscaster/commentator [ ] Paul Finebaum [ ]Eli Gold

[ ] Charles Barkley [ ] Your Choice __________________

6. Best NASCAR driver (past) [ ] Bobby Alison [ ] Neil Bonnett

[ ] Davey Allison [ ] Your Choice __________________

7. Best Olympic athlete (past) [ ] Carl Lewis [ ] Harvey Glance

[ ] Jesse Owens [ ] Your Choice __________________

8. Best public golf course [ ] Grand National, Opelika [ ] Terrapin Hills, Ft. Payne

[ ] RTJ Capitol Hill, Prattville [ ] Your Choice __________________

Entertainment 9. Best singer/songwriter (present) [ ]Lionel Richie [ ] Jason Isbell

[ ] Emmylou Harris [ ] Your Choice __________________

10. Best singer/songwriter (past) [ ] Hank Williams [ ] Nat King Cole

[ ] Percy Sledge [ ] Your Choice __________________

11. Best actor/actress from Alabama (present) [ ] Octavia Spencer [ ] Courteney Cox

[ ] Channing Tatum [ ] Your Choice __________________

People 12. Most influential Alabamian (present) [ ] Condoleezza Rice [ ] Gov. Robert Bentley

[ ] Tim Cook (Apple computer) [ ] Your Choice __________________


13. Best historical museum [ ] Alabama Dept. of Archives and History [ ] USS Battleship Alabama [ ] Barber Vintage Motorsports [ ] Your Choice __________________

14. Best learning museum [ ] Gulf Coast Exploreum [ ] McWane Science Center [ ] U.S. Space and Rocket Center [ ] Your Choice _________________

Made in Alabama 15. Best craft brewery [ ] Good People [ ] Back Forty

[ ] Avondale [ ] Your Choice __________________

16. Best Alabama-made snack [ ] Golden Flake chips [ ] Wickles Pickles

[ ] Priester’s pecans [ ] Your Choice __________________

17. Best non-BBQ Alabama-based food franchise [ ] Zoe’s [ ] Momma Goldberg’s

[ ] Chicken Salad Chick [ ] Your Choice __________________

18. Best Alabama-based BBQ franchise [ ] Jim ‘N Nick’s [ ] Full Moon BBQ

[ ] Dreamland [ ] Your Choice __________________

19. Best Alabama-made non-alcoholic beverage [ ] Milo’s Tea [ ]Red Diamond tea

[ ] Barber’s milk [ ] Your choice __________________

20. Best Alabama-made automobile [ ] Hyundai Sonata/Elantra [ ] Mercedes C/M/R/GL/ GLE Coupe [ ] Honda Odyssey/Pilot/Acura MDX

Cast your vote for VOTE ONLINE the Best of Alabama Name: ___________________________________ for the chance to win Address: _________________________ City: ___________ St: ___Zip: ________



Deadline to vote 30 AUGUST 2015 is Oct. 31, 2015.

Phone Number: __________________Co-op: ______________________________

Mail to: Alabama Living Survey • P.O. Box 244014 • Montgomery, AL 36124 No purchase necessary. Eligibility: Contest open to all persons age 18 and over, except employees and their immediate family members of Alabama Rural Electric Association, and Alabama Electric Cooperatives; and their respective divisions, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising, and promotion agencies.

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015  31

New book recounts political tales, as told by an insider

Politics and small-town charm By John Brightman Brock


ormer state Rep. Steve Flowers still takes afternoon walks along Orange Street in Troy, where he threw The Troy Messenger onto front porches in 1963. He could throw 115 newspapers from his bicycle -something he was proud of. Then one day he was approached by an Alabama legislator in Troy who encouraged him to aim higher -- at politics. “I was 12 and he was 72, and we became best friends,” Flowers says of state Rep. Gardner Bassett. “He liked that I already loved politics. We would go to see the highway director about roads, and to the agriculture commissioner’s office. During the legislative session, Mr. Gardner Bassett would show me why he was voting.” So began Bassett’s coaching of young Flowers to become a page in the Legislature. It was the same political route another boy from neighboring Barbour County used to ultimately become the most renowned politician in the history of Alabama -- George Wallace. Flowers was happy to follow his lead. “Finish your paper route. I have a special trip,” Bassett told Flowers one day. “Where we going?” Flowers asked. “Going to see the governor,” said Bassett, who was soon telling Wallace, then in his first term, “This is my little buddy, and he is going to follow me in my House seat.” And he did.

Politics and the media

After serving as a page through his high school years, Flowers became a member of the Alabama House in 1982, was voted the Most Ethical Member of the House in 1988, and four years later was voted the most Outstanding Member of the House. He kept a perfect attendance record in his 16 years as a legislator, including four as a House leader for Wallace. Yet he opted not to seek re-election in 1998. 32  AUGUST 2015

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Gov. James “Big Jim” Folsom with Flowers on the steps of the Alabama State House. CONTRIBUTED

A photo with Flowers, second from left, signed by Gov. Guy Hunt. CONTRIBUTED

Flowers chose instead to combine politics with his love of down-home Alabamians, where his journey began. “The local papers have a niche,” he said in a telephone interview from his Troy home. “I am rural and small town Alabama’s conduit to the capital. They trust me.” His perspective, “Inside the Statehouse with Steve Flowers,” is published as a weekly syndicated political column in The Troy Messenger and more than 70 other hometown Alabama newspapers, along with radio and public television programs. In April, he was named the University of Alabama’s TV political analyst. This month, NewSouth Books in Montgomery is publishing Of Goats & Governors, Flowers’ humorous collection of what it takes to run for Alabama’s top political office. The book, subtitled Six Decades of Colorful Alabama Political Stories, recounts the driven personalities and personas of Alabama’s governors, including Wallace and James E. “Big Jim” Folsom Sr., John Patterson, Lurleen Wallace and Albert Brewer, among others. The book is “a gift” to Alabamians, writes historian Ed Bridges in the forward.

‘I just wanted them told’

Flowers with Gov. George Wallace. CONTRIBUTED

Flowers gives a talk about his new book at the Department of Archives and History in June. PHOTOS BY ALLISON GRIFFIN

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It took Flowers three years to hand-write this knowledge base for future generations. “We’ve told these stories over the years (in political circles) ... and now I just wanted them told. It was 90 percent from memory.” Transcribing his pages was friend Dale Robinson, similar to the continuing task of one of Flowers’ daughters, Virginia, a lawyer in Birmingham, who has deciphered Flowers’ newspaper column since its inception in 2002. “Alabama and the Deep South, and the whole South, had a unique history,” Flowers says. “Politics was our entertainment. We had no major league sports or big industries. They (politicians) used to come to the courthouse square ... like Big Jim Folsom standing 6-foot, 9-inches tall. I wanted to try to paint a picture -- like when Big Jim’s band, the Strawberry Pickers, would start singing his election song, ‘Y’all come.’” Flowers writes in his book: “Back then if you ran for governor, it wasn’t like it is today when you simply get on TV to campaign. There was no TV and the candidate shook hands 12 to 16 hours a day and made 12 strong speeches and met thousands of people. Wallace had done this in 1958 when he ran second to (Gov. John) Patterson and again in 1962 when he won against Big Jim Folsom and Ryan DeGraffenreid. There is no tell-

Of Goats and Governors, published in August 2015, is available through NewSouth Books online for $29.95 at http:// ofgoatsandgovernors (or call 334-834-3556). His column, “Inside the Statehouse with Steve Flowers,” is published in more than 70 newspapers each week, according to his website. He begins a book tour in September, with a signing scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Johnson Art Center in Troy, followed by a signing at noon Sept. 11 at the Troy Library. ing how many people Wallace had met and shaken hands with in these two statewide campaigns.”

Alabama’s ultimate politician

Wallace was the ultimate political animal, Flowers says. “Nobody outworked Wallace. He had an amazing memory. It was Godgiven.” But not always with children, Flowers says. Working the crowd in his first run for governor, Wallace asked a boy, “How’s your daddy?” The little boy responded, “My daddy’s dead.” Wallace said, “I’m sorry.” Later after shaking many hands, he inadvertently bumped into the boy again, asking, “How’s your daddy?” The boy responded, “Daddy’s still dead.” In 1982, when Flowers was elected at age 30 to his first term in the Legislature, Wallace asked Flowers, “Steve, how old are you now?” “I said, ‘Governor, I’m 30 years old, I’m your home county representative. I’m not a page anymore.’ He smiled, took a pull on his ever-present cigar and said, ‘I’ve been governor most all your life.’ I smiled back and said, ‘Governor, you sure have. I guess you’ll always be governor of Alabama.’” One of Flowers’ favorite stories in his book is about Miss Mittie, who knew where every legislator was at any time. She sat in the Capitol rotunda the entire day, with a black hat and dress. “She was better than a computer,” he said. “’Miss Mittie, where is So and So?’ people would ask,” Flowers says. “Oh, he’s at the Elite eating supper,” she’d say. Or she would reply, “He’s in the poker game behind the Ways and Means Committee Room.” In June, more than 300 people crowded into an Architreats program at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery to hear these stories and others from Flowers’ book. “Facts are funnier than fiction,” he told the audience. A

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AUGUST 2015  35

Nature’s beauties Homeowners can bring butterflies back to Alabama gardens

Story and Photos by Carolyn Tomlin


riving down an off-the-beaten path in north Alabama, a driver swerved and stopped immediately in front of me. After hitting my brakes, I realized it was my fault. I should have read her bumper sticker, which stated: I BRAKE FOR BUTTERFLIES. Ranging in colors from yellow, black, blue, and shades in between, you see them on country roads, in suburban gardens and sunny nature centers. Often, I see them near the small towns of Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals. Driving on the back roads, butterflies (Lepidoptera) flutter above Queen Anne’s lace, black-eyed Susan and purple coneflowers that grow along the roadside. Regardless of how often they appear, one never tires of their beauty. These marvels of nature fly by day and rest with their wings erect. Alabama has a diverse geographical terrain. From the hills of north Alabama to the sunny Gulf Coast area, this varied landscape supports many plants native to the Heart of Dixie.

Grow both hosts and nectar plants

The ideal way to attract butterflies, says Carol Lovell-Saas, director of the Biophilia Nature Center in Elberta, “is to provide both host and nectar plants. For example, monarchs need milkweeds (any plant in the genus Asclepias), but every butterfly species has a plant or group of plants that it specifically needs for its caterpillars to eat. Zebra

36 AUGUST 2015

swallowtails only lay their eggs on paw paw trees. Gulf fritillaries prefer passion vine. Long-tailed skippers choose native wisteria and other bean family relatives.” Amanda Maples, director of the Purdy Butterfly Conservatory in Huntsville, says the monarchs need our help for more host plants. Its primary host plant, the common milkweed, doesn’t die back in the deep South and can develop a disease that harms the butterfly. Gardeners should cut back their milkweed each year to minimize the risk of disease. Nectar plants that grow well in the state include those above and native honeysuckle, milkweed, dwarf zinnia, lantana, Mexican sunflower, blazing star, Joe-Pye weed and phlox. Often wildlife enthusiasts ask: How do I find out the best host and nectar plants that attract butterflies? Lovell-Saas suggest you start with your local Extension System, websites for your local universities or colleges, and search for local clubs or interest groups who focus on botany, wildflowers, butterfly gardening, or other nature-related clubs. Check Lovell-Saas’ website at and http:// for more tips on butterfly gardening.

Artists design butterfly sculptures for the Butterfly House in Huntsville.

Environmental factors

Aside from providing host and nectar producing plants, there are additional concerns Alabama gardeners can control. Maples suggests filling birdbaths with moist sand. “If a butterfly tries to drink water from a birdbath and accidently falls in, they drown. Place saucers of moist sand or clean water daily around your plants. Smooth rocks or stone also provide a warm resting place.” Any ideas for over-ripe fruit? Instead of discarding, slice bananas or apples and offer these tidbits for munching. Butterflies not only receive moisture, but the fruit provides energy. “A common problem affecting butterflies and non-harmful pests are chemicals and pesticides used to control weeds and insects,” Maples says. “In my garden, I use full-strength white vinegar to manage grass and weeds near nectar producing flowers. This will not eradicate tough foliage, but will help control without the use of dangerous ingredients. “And if my neighbors are using chemicals, I suggest they try vinegar first.” Alabamians value the butterfly—especially with the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, the official state butterfly, and the Monarch, the state insect. It’s up to Alabama’s citizens to provide both host and nectar plants and to ensure our state preserves and protects this elusive creature. A

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015  37

Alabama Gardens

Planting with an eye toward the moon


he nights this when the moon is besummer have ing shy. Ponds, birdseemed espebaths, fountains and cially bright, maybe other water features because we’ve had an that reflect light or add abundance of fireflies soothing sounds to the at our house -- or maynight air are also lovely be because July proadditions to a moon vided us with a “blue garden. moon,” one of those If you’re feeling the times when we enpull of the moon in joyed two full moons your own yard, learn in a single month. Remore about moon gargardless of the reasons, dening in such books sitting outside and enas The Evening Garden: joying the nighttime Flowers and Fragrance Moonflowers, a type of morning glory, are an example of easy plants for your moongarden. landscape and the from Dusk till Dawn by cooler nighttime temperatures has become breeze, plus they benefit the ecosystem by Peter Loewer or Evening Gardens by Cathy a favorite evening activity at our house, an providing pollen and nectar for nocturnal Wilkinson Barash as well as online. If you experience that any of us could enhance by insects and animals. get started now, you can have a moon garOther plants that fit well in a moon den ready for our next full moon on Aug. establishing a moon garden. Moon gardens, also known as evening, garden are those with silver, gray or varie- 29. A night and white gardens, have been planted gated foliage, including hostas, lamb’s ears, AUGUST GARDEN TIPS for eons as spaces of worship, meditate and heuchera, lavender and many ornamental  Plant seeds of cool-season flowers even romance. They’ve enjoyed a renewed grasses, as well as trees and shrubs that such as snapdragons, dianthus, popularity in recent years as folks with day have pale bark or silvery leaves, such as pansies, calendulas and other cooljobs have adopted them to better enjoy crape myrtles, variegated Euonymus, dogseason flowers in flats or in the woods, spruces and birches. their gardens in the evenings. garden for mid-to-late fall bloom. Moon gardens can be established in the  Be on the lookout for seed and Establishing a moon garden is easy. All bulb catalogues, which should be you need are plants that have light-reflect- landscape or simply created using containarriving soon. ing qualities, such as white or pale-colored ers placed on a patio or in the yard. In  Plant fall vegetables, such as blooms or bark and silvery or variegated order to capture the best moonlight, locate cabbage, collards and broccoli. foliage. The list of those plants is extensive your moon garden in a spot that is open  Plant a winter cover crop in your and includes annual and perennial flower- enough to let the moonbeams shine on garden as it finishes its growing ing plants as well as grasses, shrubs, vines your plants. You can also establish a moon season. garden that capitalizes on the last rays of and trees.  Keep an eye out for insects and Among the flowering options are moon- the day by facing the plantings west toward disease on all ornamental and vegetable plants and treat for flowers (a type of morning glory), angel’s the setting sun. Or why not establish sevproblems before they get out of and devil’s trumpets, sweet alyssum, daisies eral dusk-into-dark garden areas in the hand. and four o’clocks. Many of these night- yard to capture all angles of the sun and  Prune blackberry canes. blooming plants emit a heady fragrance moon?  Continue to mow and water lawns To further enhance a moon garden, that can be enjoyed on the nighttime as needed. adorn it with white or pale grey stepping  Divide irises and other perennials stones or gravel, white fences, trellises and that have become overcrowded. Katie Jackson is benches and light-colored statuary, bird Keep fresh water in birdbaths and a freelance writer baths and pots. You can also use artificial keep birdfeeders full. and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. lighting, such as strategically placed spot Continue to use mosquito Contact her at repellant and sunscreen when lights, strings of fairy lights or decorative katielamarjackson@ you’re out in the yard or garden. torches to illuminate the garden space

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Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015  39

Alabama Outdoors

The Food Issue

‘Bread of the Sea’ Bringing our most popular seafood from the ocean to the plate By John N. Felsher


torms, pollution, soaring fuel prices – shrimpers must contend with these factors and many more to bring succulent crustaceans to market. But most would rather do nothing else. “Our family has been here since the early 1700s,” says Greg Ladnier, owner and president of Sea Pearl Seafood in BayJohn N. Felsher is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors show that is syndicated to stations in Alabama. For more on the show, see Contact him through his website at www.

ou La Batre. “We’ve always been involved in seafood. I started shrimping with my uncle when I was 10. I ran a boat for a year before I went to college.” In 2014, the state licensed 735 commercial shrimp boats, compared to 697 for 2009, the year before the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Smaller “ice boats” with a captain and a deckhand go out for a day or two. They put their catch on ice and return to port before the ice melts. Larger boats carry equipment to freeze their catch. They may stay out 30 to 50 days, depending on how long it takes to fill their holds with shrimp or how much fuel and supplies they can carry. A big offshore boat might carry a captain and a

crew of four to six. “Larger boats travel all over the Gulf to chase shrimp,” says Chris Blankenship, director of the Alabama Marine Resources Division on Dauphin Island. “They might start out in Alabama, but when Texas or Louisiana waters open to shrimping, that’s where they go. Beginning in 2016, shrimping will close in all inside waters from May 1 through June 1. Previously, we opened shrimp seasons when most shrimp reached the 68 shrimp per pound size.” In addition, the state licensed 958 recreational shrimpers in 2014, Blankenship says. Recreational shrimpers catch shrimp for their own consumption and cannot sell them. By Alabama law, they

Birds flock to a boat catching shrimp as the crew culls the catch in Mobile Bay. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER

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AUGUST 2015  41

can only use a trawl 16 feet long or less. They can only keep one five-gallon bucket of shrimp per person per day. Shrimpers mainly catch two species – brown and white shrimp. Both live in the marshes and estuaries and migrate to the Gulf to spawn. Recently named the official crustacean of Alabama, brown shrimp spawn in the winter. White shrimp spawn in early summer. “After shrimp spawn offshore, the larvae float with the tides and come back into the bay and estuaries,” Blankenship says. “Marsh grass and little bayous are vital to shrimp development. They need places to hide because everything likes to eat a shrimp. In the marshes, shrimp grow until they are large enough to move out to the Gulf and start the cycle all over again.” When a loaded shrimp boat docks at a processing plant, the captain sells the catch. Larger shrimp bring in more money per pound. With money in hand, the boat captain pays the crew and resupplies the vessel for the next trip out. “Shrimp landings have been down for a few years, but the value is increasing,” Blankenship says. “In 2014, Alabama shrimpers landed 17.6 million pounds with a total dockside value of $58 million. In 2009, before the oil spill, they landed nearly 22 million pounds valued at about $32.5 million.” After buying the shrimp, the processor prepares the crustaceans for human consumption. Processors freeze much of the catch in 5-pound blocks for shipping to restaurants all over the country. “If the boat brings the shrimp in with the heads on, we can take the heads off or sell them heads-on,” Ladnier says. “We run some through peeling machines and can sell them either deveined or with the veins in them. At that stage, we can freeze them in nitrogen with an individual quick frozen system or cook them.” Before shrimp can go to restaurants, inspectors check them for bacteria, chemicals, microbes and other things. After the 2010 oil spill, checking for petroleum contamination became more important. “Seafood coming out of the Gulf has always been excellent quality,” says Brett Hall, deputy commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. “We’ve never had an incident when Gulf shellfish has not passed inspec42  AUGUST 2015

tion. For the last five years, the seafood has been outstanding.” According to the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission, Gulf Coast fishermen catch more than 69 percent of the shrimp landed in the United States. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of shrimp sold in American restaurants come from American waters. Most shrimp sold in restaurants comes from Asia. “Probably about 93 percent of the shrimp sold in the United States comes

from overseas,” Blankenship explains. “The Alabama shrimping industry is not as big as it was two decades ago, but it will always be around.” Shrimp remains the most popular seafood sold in the United States. The average American eats about 4.1 pounds of shrimp per year, but Gulf Coast consumers may skew that number. Chefs can prepare the delicious morsels in infinite ways or add shrimp to any delectable concoction. A

Daniel Felsher and Droop-y Williams sort through the catch after picking up a trawl used to catch shrimp in Mobile Bay. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER

Shrimp goes well steamed with corn and potatoes. PHOTO BY BILLY POPE, ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION

Got an outdoor/hunting product or offer a service that people need to know about? If so, this space is where you should be advertising.

Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major

AUG 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 SEP. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

01:52 02:22 08:52 09:37 10:37 ---12:52 02:22 03:37 04:37 --01:07 01:52 08:52 09:52 11:07 ---01:52 03:07 04:07 04:52 --06:52 07:22 08:07 08:37 09:22 10:22 11:52 ---02:07 03:37 04:37 05:22 -07:07 07:52 08:52

Alabama Living

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Alabama's largest consumer publication is offering premium advertising space next to our Outdoors section But hurry because space is limited! THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REACH MORE THAN one MILLION readers every month. Advertise with us and see WHY ALABAMA LIVING IS THE BEST READ & MOST WIDELY CIRCULATED MAGAZINE IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA. Still thinking about it? Consider this:

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48% of our readers own a garden 85% of those garden owners purchased maintenance items last year 41% own more than 3 acres of land Contact Jacob Johnson 800.410.2737

AUGUST 2015 43

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Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015 45

Worth the Drive

Today’s lesson: Southern cooking at Red’s Little Schoolhouse By Jennifer Kornegay


t’s time to go to school. Yes, it’s summer. Sure, you completed your courses and graduated already. But, when it comes to good ol’ Southern cooking, we all have a thing or two we could stand to learn, and the tasty classics at Red’s Little Schoolhouse in Grady will teach you all you need to know. You’ll do your culinary classwork in a rustic, red, early 1900s building (originally a one-room Red’s fried cornbread is a customer favorite. school) that sits at the crossing of two some batches of camp stew and asked my county roads in rural Central Alabama. dad to make some barbecue to sell to the The day’s lesson is written on a large chalk- crowds,” she said. board, where you can read the variety of Her plan was a success. After just a few dishes that are on the ever-changing buf- weekends, Debbie was running out of her fet and prepare for what your studies will food. “We knew it would work then,” she include. said. Your teacher is owner Debbie Deese, Red’s Little Schoolhouse opened in May and she’s got the qualifications. She re- 1985, named for her dad Red and as a refceived her instruction from the most pres- erence to space’s previous purpose. That tigious institutions -- her mother’s and her June, a food critic from The Montgomery grandmother’s kitchens. Oh, and she was Advertiser gave the place a visit and liked an actual schoolteacher, too. what he ate. His glowing review let others “I grew up out here, and when this building came for sale, my dad bought it and encouraged me turn it into a furniture store,” she said. “I told him I wanted to open a restaurant, but he didn’t think it was a good idea since we’re kinda in the middle of nowhere,” she said. It’s a fact. Red’s isn’t really near anywhere else you probably need to go, but Debbie stuck to her guns, doing a trial run Red Deese helps out every day and enjoys by offering up the land around the build- reading Alabama Living. ing to area folks for Saturday yard sales. “I know Red’s was an A+ place to dine, and put up signs saying people could come and it’s stayed packed ever since. set up stuff to sell for free, and then I made Throngs hungry for the way things used to be daily descend on Red’s and rarely leave disappointed. You can order items Jennifer Kornegay is the author of a like hamburger steak and sandwiches off children’s book, “The Alabama Adventures a menu, but most line up on both sides of Walter and Wimbly: of a long buffet and load their plates with Two Marmalade Cats on a Mission.” She travels things like fried chicken, watermelon, lima to an out-of-the way beans, dressing, pulled pork slow cooked restaurant destination in Alabama every month. She may be reached for in a pit out back, squash casserole, fixins comment at for green salads and house-made dressings.

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The options are always different, but with its abundant assortment of busting-out-of-theserving-pan-seams Southern staples, the spread calls to mind the tables of plenty found at church dinner-on-the-grounds gatherings and family reunions. Everything is scratch-made; often veggies were picked by Debbie’s own hands as late as the morning before they end up on the chalkboard menu list. If she didn’t harvest them, they came from a nearby farm. While Debbie admits the restaurant business can be tough -- long days and hard work are her routine -- she stays at it because, “I love cooking and love people,” she said. And it’s always been a family labor built on that love. “We lost my mom 10 years ago, but she cooked for us; most of the casseroles we still serve are her recipes,” Debbie said. Her dad comes every morning and helps out. Ask a sampling of guests what they like most, and you’ll get a range of answers as wide as the available selections, but the one item Red’s devotees cannot do without is the fried cornbread. Warm and waiting for you at the end of the buffet, the little rusty colored, oval discs are simple pleasures, just cornmeal and buttermilk seasoned with a dash of salt and quick pan-fried in a giant cast iron skillet. “It’s really our customers’ favorite thing, and mine too,” Debbie said. “We now cater a good bit, and we fry it up onsite so it’s hot. If we ever showed up and didn’t have it, we’d for sure get sent back to get it.” A

Red’s Little School House 20 Gardner Road, Grady 334-584-7955 Grady

Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015  47

Alabama Recipes

Cool Drinks


You could win $

Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: October Homemade candy August 15 November Brunch September 15 December Peppermint October 15


online at email to mail to: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

48 AUGUST 2015

The dog days of summer are here and we are happy to share some cool, refreshing drink recipes from our readers. One of my personal favorites to make for my daughter is orange juice, a splash of cranberry juice and a splash of lemon-lime soda. Of course her favorite part is if I put it in a cool, funky glass. The soda gives it a little punch! Let me hear about your favorite drinks to make. Find Alabama Living on Facebook, send me a message on or email Mary Tyler Spivey

is a graduate of Huntingdon College where she studied history and French but she also has a passion for great food. Contact her at recipes@

Want to see recipes, feature stories, and other Alabama happenings during the month? LIke Alabama Living on facebook and don’t miss anything!

Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.

Cook of the month:

Emily Hobbs, Baldwin EMC

Sweet Lelani Cooler 2 small cans frozen orange juice 1 large can pineapple juice 1/2 cup sugar 1/3 cup lemon juice 1 large bottle ginger ale 32 ounces pineapple spears Maraschino cherries Combine all ingredients except ginger ale, pineapple spears and cherries. Stir. Add ginger ale just before serving. Pour cooler into ice filled glasses. Garnish glasses with a pineapple spear and a maraschino cherry.

Brabson House Mint Tea Rinds of 3 lemons 6 cups water 2 cups sugar 11/2 teaspoons each almond and vanilla extract Juice of 3 lemons 4 cups water 4 family size teabags 2 46-ounce cans pineapple juice Fresh mint to taste Combine lemon rinds, 6 cups water and sugar in saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes; discard lemon rinds. Add flavorings and lemon juice. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in saucepan; remove from heat. Add teabags. Steep for several minutes; discard teabags. Add to the sugar syrup. Stir in pineapple juice. Pour into two 1-gallon containers. Chill until serving time. Serve in glasses over ice; add mint. Variation: Add ginger ale to taste to serve as a punch. Yield: 24 servings. Ernestine Pace North Alabama EC

Punch 2 packages Kool-Aid (any flavor) 3 cups sugar 2 cups hot water 3 quarts water ½ cup lemon juice 46 oz. can pineapple juice Mix dry ingredients. Add hot water, then add remaining liquid ingredients. Chill. Ginger Corbett Tallapoosa River EC

Watermelon Punch 21/2 cups water 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (3 large lemons) 2/3 cup sugar 2 cups fresh orange juice (6-8 oranges) 1 small watermelon Garnish: lime wedges Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan; boil 3 minutes. Cool completely, and stir in orange juice. Peel, seed and cube watermelon. Process cubed watermelon in a blender until smooth. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, reserving 3 cups juice; discard watermelon pulp. Stir together watermelon juice and sugar mixture; chill thoroughly. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish, if desired. Yield: 8 cups. Becky Terry, Joe Wheeler EMC

Buzz’s Sports Drink 2/3 cup sparking water
 1/3 cup orange juice
Ice cubes Add ice cubes to a glass. Pour sparking water and orange juice over ice. Stir to mix. (For a slightly sweeter taste add 2 extra tablespoons of orange juice.) 
Great drink for quenching a thirst! Sherry Baldone, Coosa Valley EC

Alabama Living

Baptist Shower Punch Cool all liquids listed: 2 2-liter bottles of lemon lime soda 1 package lemonade flavored Kool-Aid, with 1 cup sugar and 1/2 gallon water added 1 small can crushed pineapple with juice 1/2 gallon block lime sherbet Mix all ingredients except sherbet together in punch bowl. At last minute, float the sherbet and allow to melt briefly. Refreshing and nonalcoholic for the ladies. Becky Chappelle, Cullman EC

Pineapple Lemonade 11/2 cups lemon juice 1/4 cup sugar 5 cups water 1 cup fresh pineapple juice Juice of 1 lime Combine water and sugar until dissolved over medium heat. Remove from heat and cool. In 2-quart pitcher combine lemon juice, pineapple juice and lime juice. Pour cooled water/sugar mixture into pitcher, mix well and serve. Kellanee Lawley, Coosa Valley EC

Berry Berry Protein Smoothie 2 scoops Total Soy Meal Replacement 1 cup of milk 1 cup of ice 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries 1/2 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen) Put all ingredients in blender and mix well. Makes 3 cups or 3 servings.

Brazilian Lemonade 6 cups cold water 1 cup sugar 4 limes 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk Mix water and sugar together until sugar is dissolved. Put in the fridge to chill until ready to use. Wash the limes with soap and water. Peel the limes, leaving some pieces of the skin on. Cut the ends off the limes (DO NOT MISS THIS STEP!) and then cut them into eighths. Place half of the limes and half of the sugar water in your blender and pulse 5 times. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into the pitcher you are going to serve it in. Discard the pulp. Repeat with the second half of your limes and sugar water. Mix in the sweetened condensed milk. Serve over lots of ice. Aline Smith, Baldwin EMC

Non-Alcoholic Sangria 4 cups cranberry-grape juice 1 cup orange juice 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1 pear, diced 1 apple, diced 3 cups carbonated lemonlime soda In a large pitcher, combine cranberry-grape juice, orange juice, fresh lemon juice, diced pear, and diced apple. Refrigerate for a least 2 hours. Just before serving, stir in the lemon-lime soda and some ice. This is not overly sweet, just the right blend of ingredients. Shari Lowery, Pioneer EC

Julia Faith Pritchett Baldwin EMC AUGUST 2015  49


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Alabama Living


AUGUST 2015  51

Our Sources Say

The Cost of Perfection


ecently the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Rule that would have further limited mercury and heavy metal emissions from coal-fired electric generation plants. The Supreme Court ruled the EPA failed to consider the cost of industry compliance in establishing the standards. In the majority opinion Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “The Agency must consider cost – including, most importantly, cost of compliance – before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary.” The rule was a setback for the EPA in its agenda to close as many coal-fired generation plants as it can, but it is not fatal. The EPA can go back, recalculate a cost to comply and simply try again. After all, most utilities have already complied with the rule as it was written, and the majority of the costs to comply with the standards have already been spent. The cost of compliance should be low. Some commentaries have been critical of the Supreme Court’s decision. One of the more interesting ones was by Professor J. Mijin Cha, a fellow with Cornell University’s Workers Institute. Professor Cha writes, “The Supreme Court was wrong to rule that cost of compliance is the most important consideration. Requiring polluting businesses to stop polluting will, of course, incur a cost. However, the public is currently bearing the cost and health burden from polluted air and water. It’s only fair that industry begins to pay its fair share.” Professor Cha also states, “We know how much it costs to clean up pollution, but we chronically undervalue the cost and health benefits of preventing pollution in the first place.” She further writes, “The primary consideration for the EPA should be what is best for the environment and the health of the public, not how much compliance will cost.” If the primary consideration is what is best for the environment and the health of the public regardless of cost, there are no boundaries. The only logical standard is environmental perfection. If any emission or release could cause damage to the environment or public health, it would be prohibited under Professor Cha’s standards. Under such scrutiny, it is unlikely we would have

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

52 AUGUST 2015

electric service, automobiles, manufacturing, heating or cooling or commercial activity. I doubt that is Ms. Cha’s intent, but once we step down the path to environmental perfection without economic limits, where do we stop? Professor Cha’s statement about industry beginning to pay its fair share is also off target, but it is misunderstood by many people. Almost every business — and particularly electric utilities — passes the cost of production, operations and compliance on to its customers. For example, PowerSouth has invested more than $400 million in air quality improvements at our coal-fired generation plants to comply with MATS. People who receive electricity from our members are paying those costs in their electric bills today and into the future. If the cost of compliance is included in the price (or, in the case of electricity, included in the rate), the cost of the product will increase for everyone. Nearly half of all the families in the U.S. earn less than $50,000 a year. Those families pay approximately 15 percent of their disposable income for energy. Ms. Cha’s recommendation that industry start paying its fair share means the cost of electricity goes up for everyone, including the poorest families in the country. The cost of electricity also goes up for everything manufactured, produced, sold and delivered. In essence, the cost of everything that anyone buys increases. The spending power of the average consumer declines – maybe remarkably. The proposal is very regressive because the country’s poorest families suffer the most with the higher costs. Consider Professor Cha’s proposal and the impact it would have with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan that is expected to be released later this summer. President Obama has declared climate change to be the most serious threat to future generations. The cost of such a threat, if true, will be very high. But, if the cost of compliance is not considered, the cost of environmental perfection – or the lack of carbon production – will be extraordinarily high. And the cost of everything anybody buys will also be much higher. The cost of perfection is almost always unaffordable. It is for the perfect environment as well. People like to talk about perfectly clean air and water, but the cost is too high. Replacing lower cost electric generation with higher cost generation, like renewable resources, will increase your electric bill and the cost of everything you buy. The environment may be cleaner, but you have to pay for the perfection. It is your choice – or maybe it isn’t anymore. I hope you have a good month. A

Market Place

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Alabama Living

AUGUST 2015  53

Alabama Snapshots 1




9 8


Submit Your Images! OCTOBER THEME:

“Halloween Costumes”


Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL, 36124 RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR OCTOBER: August 31

54 AUGUST 2015



My Best Friend 1. Emily and Jenna. SUBMITTED BY Emme Hobbs, Robertsdale. 2. Cousins and best friends, Hunter and John Michael.SUBMITTED BY Donna Money, Centre. 3. Edna Watts and Eula Chambliss, friends for 94 years. SUBMITTED BY Eda Watts, Arley. 4. Robert P. Glaser and K9 Philos, partners for 6 years. SUBMITTED BY Robert Glaser, Grant. 5. Sharonda and Lakisha. SUBMITTED BY Sharonda Rudolph, Tyler.

6. Celia and best friend Erin, born two days apart in July 2000. SUBMITTED BY Leah Blanchard, Rockford. 7. Joe Goschy and best friend of 43 years, Kerry Gloss. SUBMITTED BY Joe Goschy, Lanett. 8. Kristin and Jerdonna Harpe, best friends for 12 years and counting. SUBMITTED BY Kristin Ashley, Pike Road. 9. Kathy Milligan and Liz Yarbrough. SUBMITTED BY Liz Yarbrough, Arab.

Pec aug15 dm  
Pec aug15 dm